Dorothy's Stefado Recipe -
Dorothy's Stefado Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Dorothy's Stefado

Recipe by  

"This is a Greek beef stew made with small onions. This is my mom's recipe, and every Fall without fail you could smell it simmering in the kitchen. Serve it with a large bowl of mashed potatoes. Of course a Greek salad, some feta & olives and crusty bread give this meal the final touches. The onions can be time consuming to clean, but well worth it when your family sits down to eat."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 18 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 20 mins


  1. In a large soup pot, cook beef in oil until beef is browned. Remove beef, and set aside. Mix sugar into the drippings, add onions, and cook until golden. Remove onions from pan.
  2. Return beef to the pot, and place onions on top. Mix the tomato paste, wine, and wine vinegar together, and add to saucepan. Place the garlic, pickling spices, bay leaf, cinnamon, and rosemary in a spice bag; add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, adding more liquid if necessary.
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  • The onions let out liquid as they cook, so be careful not to add to much water at the beginning. When stew is done, remember to remove the spice bag.
  • If you prefer, you can cook this in a roaster in your oven at 275 degrees F(135 degrees C). Watch the time though; it may take longer.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 01, 2009

Good recipe! If you don't have pickling spice, you can make it yourself. The main ingredients are: cinnamon, mustard seed, bay leaves, allspice, dill seed, cloves, ginger, peppercorns, coriander, juniper berries, mace, and cardamom. So put a bit of all this, and you've got it!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 22, 2010

I am Greek and have had this dish many times as a child. I always remember this dish having a tomato base which was rich with flavor and thick. This recipe gives you a beefywatery base - no red tomato color. i am questioning the picture as it looks like there are tomatos in it. My family thought this tastes pretty good, but question the color. Maybe I can add some tomato sauce to see if this will improve the flavor/appearance. I used my crockpot on low for 12 hours. Easy recipe to follow. Would I make it again? It's missing something. It might be the addition of tomato sauce.

Feb 04, 2004

This is a GREAT recipe!!! I am Greek and this is just like my mom used to make. Don't be afraid of the work, your family will love this!

Apr 08, 2004

I made this recently and can't believe how good this was. I always stayed away from this recipe even though it was one of my favorite greek meals. I thought it would be too much work, but boy was it worth it. Kathy is right, the smell of this simmering is so inviting! My family enjoyed this a lot and all you have to do is add a salad and some mashed potatoes! No more ordering this out at Greek restaurants. Now I can have even better at home!! Thanks!

Nov 30, 2007

Great recipe from Dorothy! She's got more than 200 others - Greek & American - in her book, From Our Hearts to Your Table - Recipes from a Greek American Family.

Nov 30, 2009

Kathy, Thank you for posting your mom's Stefado, I think it is wonderful. I made a batch with half the amount of meat and onions, but left the rest of the ingrediants as written. It was fabulous with the fresh french bread for soaking the sauce. I have made this stew for years with all kinds of meat such as lamb, venison, rabbit, chicken and of course beef. From a 65 year old greek man that cooks better than most...Bravo!

Jun 20, 2007

The smell while cooking was devine !! I also cut down the meat (almost half), but used about double wine/water mix... even though I was cooking it on very low heat ?! To cut the acidity of the tomato paste and wine I added about 2 tsp of sugar. Will definately be making this more often. Note: If you don't have whole pickling spice use: 1ts whole cloves, more bayleaves (2), whole peper corns. It's not the same, but will add a bit more flavour.

Feb 25, 2007

Our favourite Greek restaurant is closed for refurbishment at the moment. So I wanted to try and recreate my husbands favourite dish for his birthday. I managed it with this recipe. I scaled down the meat and onions for 6 people but kept the sauce the same. I'm glad I did as I still had to add a little more wine mixed with water even though I was simmering on very low.Thankyou to my Quality Cook friend CC who explained to me what a spice bag was and thankyou Kathy W for a recipe that my husband really enjoyed.


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  • Calories
  • 357 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 24.6 g
  • 8%
  • Cholesterol
  • 63 mg
  • 21%
  • Fat
  • 18.7 g
  • 29%
  • Fiber
  • 0.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 21.4 g
  • 43%
  • Sodium
  • 262 mg
  • 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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